Transvaginal Mesh MDL Lawsuit Update: C.R. Bard Denied Request to Exclude Certain Documents at Trial
Law 360 reports that The Honorable Judge Joseph Goodwin, who presides over the C.R. Bard Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) pending in the Southern District of West Virginia, has denied C.R. Bard’s motion requesting the exclusion of an employee’s proposed changes to vaginal mesh products as evidence based on the finding that they touched on the issue of plaintiff’s design defect claim.
C.R. Bard had requested that certain internal memorandums from one of C.R. Bard’s employees, and head of the advanced surgical concepts division – Bobby Orr, be excluded from trial. In particular, Orr had written the documents in 2008 and 2009 regarding the links to adverse events and proposed changes to improve the product design.
C.R. Bard argued that the documents were not relevant to the plaintiff’s design defect claim due to the fact that plaintiffs must show that a defect existed at the time the product left the company’s control, under Mississippi law. C.R. Bard argued that Orr wrote the memorandums at issue after the device was manufactured and implanted, they should be excluded. However, Judge Goodwin ruled that a design defect claim involves whether C.R. Bard knew or should have known of a risk and whether an alternative design was feasible, and the scientific literature referenced by Orr was published before C.R. Bard sold the mesh product that was implanted in the plaintiff. For these reasons, the judge allowed for parts of the documents to be admitted in court, depending on the particular foundation laid at trial and the specific portions of the memoranda that plaintiff seeks to introduce.
This ruling applies to the fourth bellwether case scheduled for trial in the C.R. Bard MDL (Jones v. C.R. Bard Inc. et al, Case No. 2:11-cv-00114). As we previously reported, the first bellwether case resulted in a $2 million damages award against C.R. Bard and the second bellwether case settled on the first day of trial. The third bellwether case was dropped back in September, weeks before a trial was supposed to begin.
Thousands of women allege that they have experienced complications from these transvaginal mesh devices, including device erosion, organ perforation, intense pain, inability to have sexual intercourse, infection, and the need to undergo multiple revision surgeries. As of now, over 37,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits are currently pending in federal courts – and the number of cases continues to grow. According to the most recent report released by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), there are six Multidistrict Litigations (MDLs) involving different transvaginal mesh device manufacturers::
- MDL 2187 – In re: C.R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation: 5,516 pending cases
- MDL 2325 – In re: American Medical Systems, Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation: 11,402 pending cases
- MDL 2326 – In re: Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation: 7,377 pending cases
- MDL 2327 – In re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation: 11,667 pending cases
- MDL 2387 – In re: Coloplast Corp. Pelvic Support Systems Products Liability Litigation: 1,106 pending cases
- MDL 2440 – In re: Cook Medical, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation: 150 pending cases
If you or a loved one has experienced serious injuries as a result of a transvaginal mesh device, contact one of our experienced attorneys at Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP toll-free at 1-800-873-5297. We will confidentially evaluate your case for free and without any obligation.
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